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HE-5..initial musings - Page 92

post #1366 of 1668
well to be honest, the little quality issues have been annoying, but if the replacement pair comes in and stays "defective" free, then I will be the happiest person alive! I can honestly answer your question very simply, IMO of course, I would give these the highest recommendation. Since I don't have them for about a week, and I am back using the 701's (which aren't really bad phones), Its not even close... Its pointless explaining the sound characteristics of these phones, since its been well documented on this forum, but the sound of these cans IMO are marvelous, simply stunning. Its truly special, and the hype is for real... Cheers!
post #1367 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarthel View Post
would you recommend this phones in spite of the various build quality issues? thank you
I still can't answer that question right now, as they have not yet resolved a painfully simple customer support issue; edit: I would definitely recommend them on sound quality, comfort, and looks alone. Having said that, I still do not have a confirmation that a replacement earpad is being sent by Head-Direct, and am ready to whip out the fabric glue or rubber cement or whatever, but this is more of a non-warranty solution as the cans are less that 30 days new.

Needless to say, I am simply flabbergasted by their seemingly poor attitude regarding after-sale support.

It could still be a language translation (ESL) issue, but this is getting ridiculous

I cannot imagine how poorly they would handle a simple customer support issue such as this if I was not within the 30-day refund window, and their responses are making me consider, again, returning a set of headphones that I really like for no other reason than they cannot just send me a freakin' earpad to replace my defective one !

edit:
They did end up doing the right thing here and there is no dispute that these are the best-sounding, best-looking headphones I have ever owned or even tried out. They do come with a three-year warranty.
post #1368 of 1668
@grokit. Please take a deep breath before reading this, and please don't take this personally.
I know Fang personally and spoke to him about this last night.
You wrote to customer service asking for a better solution than sending your entire cans back. One CS member (nameless as you called them) of the Head-Direct Customer service group wrote you back on Sunday morning, telling you that they will ask Fang (Nankai) if there is a better solution. That was done instantly, and then later that same day, you get a post from Nankai, stating that new pads will be sent to you, rather than your having to send you hard earn, burned-in cans back to Head-Direct.

So, as I see it, you had your problem solved in less than a day, exactly as you requested.

Now, you are complaining that you have to send in your defective pad in, before receiving your new one. I know, personally, that anything I've had to send in under warranty or even normal repair, in my whole life of audio purchases, have been done this way. Either that, or they send you another one, hold some money from your CC and then when they receive the product back, credit the card.

You say that you are on an emotional roller coaster! This is audio, good gosh, not life and death. You asked a Customer representative for a better solution, got it almost instantaneously, and yet, you are still not happy.
What more could you ask for?
I am still waiting for a new battery from my Cowon iaudio X5L for 3 months, and when I sent in my $4000 Cary Cinema 5 multichannel amp, I was without an amp for 2 months with no loaner. Put things in perspective. You made a request, and had that request fulfilled quickly and I applaud Head-Direect, to the best of their ability, and problem solved. Would Sony do that for you, Heck no!

As a moderator, I scour the threads (for the involvement, making sure that the members, sponsors, and MOT's are doing right amongst each other and that our world is a happy place).

I truly feel that you got exactly what you asked for, in record breaking time and if there are smaller things that have to be worked out, then so be it.
Hanging onto the claim, that "I am thinking of sending back the cans" is a veiled threat, because you know, they are great cans for the money, and you would only be hurting yourself in a matter that is being taken care of, expeditiously, and with the customer's happiness as the top priority.

Would you get this kind of service from and "age old manufacture? I think not. There are a lot of atrocities going on in the world, and I wouldn't count this as one of them.

Please note that all of my comments come as a member, not as a moderator, and from someone who has had a lot of purchases in a lifetime of ups and downs. It will all work out....just keep enjoying your musical experiences. Isn't that what this hobby is all about?

Your words like "emotional roller coaster, flabbergasted, ridiculous, painful and ESL (English as second language)" are pretty strong for this topic, especially when someone answered you almost instantaneously. Silence from Customer Service, is ridiculous.
Last Saturday night, I walked out to my car, and every car in a 1/2 mile radius had a bat put to the passenger side view mirror (as some witnesses report). That's flabbergasting, painful, and frustrating. When you put things in perspective. We could be living on an island that just had a major earthquake. Even the mirrors on my block can be fixed and are just material objects that can be fixed. It's a pain in the butt, but they can be fixed. Death can't.

Of course, this is all of IMHO. Peace bro.

Aaron
post #1369 of 1668
Mine still show no hint of any cracking or pad tears.
post #1370 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Mine still show no hint of any cracking or pad tears.
I guess we're fortunate. Although, I wouldn't be too miffed if something did go wrong (unlikely after 4 weeks). Fang's customer service and responsiveness inspires confidence.
post #1371 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Mine still show no hint of any cracking or pad tears.
Nor do mine - zero issues, actually. And LOVING them with the balanced APS cable.
post #1372 of 1668
Zero issues here either. Very happy. Great value for the money. Comes very close to the best available regardless of price. Highly reccommended.
post #1373 of 1668
I have to thank Fang and Head Direct, I received a notification in less than a day that my ear-pad would be replaced w/o having to send in the entire headphone. Kudo's to Fang and Head Direct. Thanks again.
post #1374 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarthel View Post
would you recommend this phones in spite of the various build quality issues? thank you
Yes I would, at $600 you will be hard pressed to find a better current production headphone. You will most likely have to spend over $1,000
post #1375 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
@grokit. Please take a deep breath before reading this, and please don't take this personally.
I know Fang personally and spoke to him about this last night.

-snip-

So, as I see it, you had your problem solved in less than a day, exactly as you requested.

Now, you are complaining that you have to send in your defective pad in, before receiving your new one. I know, personally, that anything I've had to send in under warranty or even normal repair, in my whole life of audio purchases, have been done this way. Either that, or they send you another one, hold some money from your CC and then when they receive the product back, credit the card.

You say that you are on an emotional roller coaster! This is audio, good gosh, not life and death. You asked a Customer representative for a better solution, got it almost instantaneously, and yet, you are still not happy.
What more could you ask for?

-snip-

Please note that all of my comments come as a member, not as a moderator...

-snip-

Peace bro.
Aaron
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post
We will send new earpad for you guys. It will be ridiculous to ship the whole thing back. Please email your name, address and phone number to head.direct.customerservice@gmail.com, so that we can mail earpad to you.
Aaron, I was just trying to get Fang to do what he promised on this forum, quoted directly above for your convenience. I sent Head-Direct my mailing address, as requested so I could get the earpad mailed to me as promised, and now I have to send my pads to them first?

So I thought that I had the "problem solved in less than a day, exactly as [I] requested", and I even posted about how happy I was about that; then Head-Direct (edit: communicated to me that they had) inexplicably changed their mind. These kind of inconsistencies are what made me consider returning them while I am still in the window.

The only reason the people replying to me from Head-Direct are "nameless", is because they don't sign their name, so there is no way to know if you are having a continuous dialog with anyone.

I agree that these cans are very good, but they are still the most expensive headphones I have ever purchased, so my frame of reference may be different than yours. When I spend close to $1,000 on an unnecessary luxury product, I expect that minor defects will be quickly resolved, and I do get emotionally involved. But the "emotional roller coaster" is because they led me to believe that my issue was resolved, and then it wasn't. edit: and then it was again...

As far as me sending the pad to them first, it seemed to me to not only be a contradiction to what Fang promised, but I would think that the photographic evidence I sent them and posted here would be enough, and I have already offered to pay for a new pad and get refunded later, as you no doubt read in my earlier post that you are referring to.

In reality I will keep the cans, glue the defective pad if I have to, and send the whole thing in to them if a real performance issue ever comes up, and pray that it doesn't. And if it doesn't I will have a defective earpad forever if they don't just let me buy one, but I am keeping my options open so if that constitutes a "veiled threat", so be it, and let it now be "unveiled"

You also said that I "made a request, and had that request fulfilled quickly"; but obviously that is not the case when they say one thing and then change their mind and say another thing:

"Please email your name, address and phone number to head.direct.customerservice@gmail.com, so that we can mail earpad to you."

It seemed to me when I got the contradictory response via e-mail that either Fang didn't say what he meant or that he was going back on his word, so please advise on that alone, and take a "deep breath" before you do !

And now, the "emotional roller-coaster" is back at the top (yea), and Head-Direct is doing the only right, and logical, thing under the circumstances (again):

"Hello Vincent,

You can keep the defective earpads. We will be shipping a new replacement earpad to you.

Head-Direct Corporation / HiFiMAN
Customer Service Team"

So I still don't know who this "nameless" person is, but the "Head-Direct Corporation / HiFiMAN Customer Service Team" is back on track

Nothing derogatory, but I do chalk this whole unnecessary back-and-forth "roller coaster" dialog up to growing pains for a small hi-end manufacturing company, as well as ESL issues, which can be intertwined at times in a global marketplace.

So nothing personal, I am a peaceful person but I do expect expect people as well as headphone manufacturers to do what they promise to do.

And they finally did, so all is good with the world again
post #1376 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by somestranger26 View Post
Argh, Head-Direct is being such a cocktease. I finally got my replacement HE-5s but they didn't send the cable or box with them...

Edit: they shipped it overnight through UPS too, so that must have cost a pretty penny for only sending me half the items. Great customer service for sending it overnight, horrible communication though as evidenced by the earpad inconsistency mystery above.

Yes, I have to agree that the service is starting to try my patience a bit. I also got my replacement today. I opened the box & what do you know....a HE-5 wrapped in bubble wrap without the original box.

Unfortunately, I sent back all the packaging when I sent the original cracked headphone in for replacement. So, I wonder, what am I supposed to do with a HE-5 without the headphone cable?????

To make matters worse, I inspected it a bit more carefully & I had to start laughing, but you won't believe it, one wood cup won't swivel in the metal bracket because the metal bracket (I can see it's bent) scrapes the wood cup.

Well,...I emailed Fang again. FWIW, I originally ordered in early December. Let's see how long this takes to get one I can keep.

GLC
post #1377 of 1668
This thread is getting quite polarized, and I know that I have been on both sides of it myself. These are great-sounding headphones by any measure, and I have sung their praises repeatedly on this forum. There are some variances in their manufacturing, but this is to be expected with a new product from a young company. Additionally, their customer service department seems to mean well but they do not always initially come across that way.

All points of view should be equally valid here. These headphones are quite easy to defend as they sound and look spectacular, but the above issues leave Head-Direct/HiFiMAN open to attacks for their customer service inconsistencies and quality control issues. My feeling is that both of these problems are due to growing pains and will be eventually resolved in a satisfactory manner, so cheers
post #1378 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post
This thread is getting quite polarized, and I know that I have been on both sides of it myself. These are great-sounding headphones by any measure, and I have sung their praises repeatedly on this forum. There are some variances in their manufacturing, but this is to be expected with a new product from a young company. Additionally, their customer service department seems to mean well but they do not always initially come across that way.

All points of view should be equally valid here. These headphones are quite easy to defend as they sound and look spectacular, but the above issues leave Head-Direct/HiFiMAN open to attacks for their customer service inconsistencies and quality control issues. My feeling is that both of these problems are due to growing pains and will be eventually resolved in a satisfactory manner
I think that's a fair assessment. What I don't want to see is people afraid to post any criticisms or problems they're having. I think it benefits not only the customers, but also Fang in the long run if he can address these issues from early-production feedback.
post #1379 of 1668
Well, look at it this way. Fang now says (and I know that he is very serious about satisfying his customers) you don't have to send the pads back, but now, what if every Tom, Dick and Harry, decides he would like to add a second "just in case" pair of earpads to their collection. With cost of the product, and shipping from China to the states, including "the far north", this will drive the cost of the headphones up, to later consumers.

There needs to be some way of showing proof. Pics don't count because that could be someone elses. By sending them back for any manufacturer, it absolves any doubt of foul play. There are 2 sides to every story.

Yes, the fact is, they shouldn't be ripping in the first place, and Customer Service should eventually know every nook and cranny about the operation. So chalk that up to, as you said, "growing pains". With the introduction of the 801 and the HE5/EF-s, instead of becoming a distributor, now Fang's own ideas (which to me, are quite innovative) are coming to fruition, and he is now manufacturing his own HiFiMAN line of products, rather that just "middle-manning" other companies products. So, they are going to sound damn good, but he has worked hard to get where is today. Just like Ray and Dr. Meier, and John Grado (even Grado products have various issues).

I have know Fang since 2006, when he was just selling other people's products. He is a visionary, and in a couple of years, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with. It's those of us that got on board with him early, that have to take a little bit of hassle, but for price and sound, I, personally feel it's worth it, and it seems that most people in these 3 threads agree with me.

We are tired of the mediocrity of Sony and Panasonic and Dr. Dre (just kidding about the last one).

Look, the average late night television watcher is going to buy a Bose product, mostly due to marketing. Something they are very good at, but their products are for the masses, just like the average high school student couldn't care less about how an Apple iBud sounds. It's good enough.

We, here at Head-Fi, are just not in that demographic. Now, we have choices. By the way, I own every portable amp that Ray Samuels sells, I have 3 Headroom products in my home, I have DIY stuff from friends, so I am not just pushing one man's product, but I have a great deal of respect for these Visionaries (Tyl, Fang, Vinnie Rossi, Ken Ball, etc.] This has made our hobby a lot more interesting. We have had one or 2 bad seeds in our past, and as moderators, we try to weed them out and give you stickies (Xin, Singlepower, etc). But we suffer the same slings and arrows as anyone else as we climb the chain to audio nirvana.[/end of rant]
post #1380 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
Heard these at the DFW meet today. Very capable headphones that eat up any music you throw at it without effort. In my setup with the Little Dot MKVI using 2x3pin XLR I found them to be excellent save for a bit of harshness in the treble that was present in any genre but classical. I then heard it unbalanced on Alex's (APureSound) rig and while it wasn't quite so effortless, the treble harshness was gone completely. The synergy with his setup made me understand the hype these cans are getting.

With the right setup these are killer for the money. They don't match my setup at all so I'll pass for now with a mental note to try them again if I do major changes in the future.

So sad to hear this.
My friend will bring the new MK VI+ for me from China next month, and I already have some tubes and balanced cables in hand for the coming amp. I know the MK VI can drive K1000s pretty well, so I thought it might provide enough current for the HE5s. But it seems they are still not a good match.

I just cannot resist the temptation of a balanced rig. Could anyone recommend me a entry level balanced amp ( prefer tube or hybrid around $600), which can drive HE-5 well?
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